More on the T-Mobile G2 "rootkit" -- it's actually a "NAND Lock" (and it's still a ripoff)

Ars Technica's Ryan Paul has a write-up about the "rootkit" in the new T-Mobile HTC G2 phone. Background: New America Foundation recently sounded an alarm about a countermeasure built into the new G2 handsets that T-Mobile was selling. The countermeasure watches to see if you've changed your phone's OS, and if you have, it wipes out your changes and reinstalls T-Mobile's stock firmware. New America erroneously called this a rootkit; it's technically called a "NAND Lock," and other HTC handsets have come from carriers locked like this too.

However, fact remains that T-Mobile has chosen to lock its handsets to prevent their owners from rooting/jailbreaking them. As a 10-year T-Mobile US customer who bought two full-price HTC Android handsets from T-Mobile for the purpose of rooting them so that I could load my own software, I find this repellent. I'm not the only one -- this year, the US Copyright Office carved out a legal exemption in order to explicitly legalize opening up your mobile phone. A statement from T-Mobile calls this a "side-effect" of a corruption prevention method, but this is horsewash: if all T-Mobile cares about is stopping your phone from getting corrupted, they could give jailbreakers the keys necessary to open up their handsets.

The good news is that the phone jailbreaking community generally gets through this stuff with relative ease, and the G2 will fall sooner rather than later. But what a misery it is that the mobile phone companies continue to spend good money to frustrate the legitimate activities of their customers.

G2 doesn't have rootkit, it's just the same old NAND lock (Thanks, Bluerabbit, via Submitterator!)